1st Cavalry Division
Dennis Webster, Executive Director
July 26, 2007
We had a computer problem and any e-mail that was sent to us between 9 and 18 July 2007 likely didnít get through. We got a few messages on 9 July before the system went down and a few on 18 July after we got things repaired but many messages are in a black hole somewhere between you and me. If it was important that we receive any messages that you sent please resend them to us. If it wasnít important, there is no reason to resend. It seems that our junk e-mail filter decided that everything being sent was junk and rejected all of the messages being sent to us. This problem with e-mail along with time spent at the reunion will make the July/August issue of SABER late getting out. Please be patient if you receive SABER and if you donít receive SABER send in your $10 and start getting the paper.
The 60th Annual Reunion of the 1st Cavalry Division Association is over and I now have some time to get an update out to you. I will cover a little of the Reunion and discuss some additional issues of interest in this update and do my best to keep it as concise as possible. We are still trying to recover from the Reunion here at the office and I donít have the final numbers figured out. I know it was above 600 but donít know the exact number. Iím sure that there were a few folks that werenít happy with some aspect of the reunion but most everyone that attended had a great time. You canít spend time with other Cav Troopers and not enjoy yourself. We were honored to have SGT John Baca, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions on 10 February 1970 while assigned to D Company, 1-12th Cavalry in Vietnam, with us at the reunion. His MOH citation can be read at http://www.1cda.org/MOH_Baca.htm. We appreciate the support of the San Bernardino and Los Angeles/Orange County Chapters in running this reunion.
With the Division in Iraq we had fewer active duty Troopers with us than in the past but we had the Division Honor Guard and four Troopers from the Horse Cavalry Detachment there for the entire reunion and COL Larry Phelps joined us on Saturday. We had a live satellite feed for the banquet and got a great briefing from the Division Sergeant Major, CSM Phil Johndrow, on the First Team and all of their attachments in Iraq. CSM Johndrow has been our guest speaker for the past two banquets and he did an excellent job of providing information and giving us his personal views as the Division Sergeant Major. We had great assistance from the Division Public Affairs Office and the Audio Visual folks at the Riverside Convention Center that coordinated and ran things so that we could have the speaker introduced and go straight to a live video feed. I realize that the networks do this everyday but for a guy who has flashing dashes on his DVD player at home and gets confused operating a microwave this was a HOOAH event! CSM Johndrow talked about his visits with wounded Troopers and got many of us emotional. If you werenít at the banquet, you missed a very special presentation by an excellent Sergeant Major. We also had a couple of video presentations that were produced by the Division PAO and a taped message from the CG, MG Joe Fil, at the banquet. Visit the Divisionís web page to view the great products that they produce at http://www.hood.army.mil/1stcavdiv/.
Jerry Eller hauled the trailer for the Souvenir Shop to Riverside and then assisted the Association by running the Reunion Room. He must have done a good job on both since we had pretty good sales in the Souvenir Shop and spent a bunch on liquid refreshments in the Reunion Room. The Reunion Room is one of our most important events at reunion because it allows the Troopers and families to spend time together in an informal setting. I saw lots of photos being shown and there was much laughter and some tears as Troopers reminisced about days gone by.
The World War II lunch was hosted by the son of one of our World War Troopers. John Corona, son of T-4 James Corona Ė 8th Engineers, is a school teacher in Riverside. He does a great presentation for his class that addresses the service of his father and other Veterans of the same time period. The number of World War II Veterans attending our reunions is going down due to their health and the passing of many who regularly attended, but those that were there were highly visible and recognized for their service. SGT Alan Gold, who was a medic with the 8th Cavalry Regiment in World War II and lives in Florida, read the World War II portion of the Long Roll Muster during our Memorial Service. ĎGoldieí did as good a job as anyone Iíve seen doing this and made the Memorial Service that much more special. My wife was also impressed. She told me she thought he did better than everyone else reading during the ceremony. Since I read the Gulf War portion of the Long Roll Muster (the only Gulf War Veteran at the reunion), I felt unappreciated by my spouse but after some consideration I had to agree with her.
We were able to dedicate a plaque at the Riverside National Cemetery memorializing all who have served and will serve with the First Team. The plaque was done by the City of Riverside to honor our visit. They also hosted a group of us at a Wine and Cheese Reception at March Museum where there was helicopter done up in Cav colors. Not every city that we visit does things like this and we appreciate the warm welcome and support we received from the Convention and Visitors Bureau. From the First Team Martini in the Marriott Hotel to the signs of welcome on the businesses the evidence proves that Riverside, California is now officially Cav Country!
We elected the slate of officers that were recommended by the Nominating Committee at the General Membership meeting. You can view a list of our officers at http://www.1cda.org/Leadership.htm. The membership also selected Colorado Springs as the location of our 2010 Reunion however the hotel that made the offer has been sold and is now reneging on their proposal. It appears that they will not work with us in good faith and the Executive Council is considering the option of awarding the 2010 reunion to the 2nd place location of Bloomington, Minnesota (more on this in the next update). Next year we will be in Jacksonville, Florida from 18-22 June and we will be back at Fort Hood/Killeen for 2009. Minutes of the General Membership meeting will be in the July/August issue of SABER when we get it to the printer.
I attended a Memorial Service for 19 Troopers that were assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood on 19 July. The monthly Memorial Services are conducted in the 1st Cavalry Division Memorial Chapel with the people surrounded by the names of our war dead from all of the previous wars. Memorial Services are also conducted for the casualties of the 4th Brigade at Fort Bliss where they are stationed. The Division has had 371 Troopers die during this deployment to Iraq with 139 of them being assigned to the Division and the remainder being attached or under the operational or tactical control of the Division. Their names are on our web page at http://www.1cda.org/fallen_troopers.htm.
I attended a ceremony where 29 Troopers were awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received while serving in Iraq on 24 July. This is always a moving ceremony and one that is uplifting. The Division also recognized many volunteers for their support at Fort Hood. BG Will Grimsley, ADC of the 4th Infantry Division, presented the Troopers their Purple Hearts and then made some remarks. He is a former First Team Trooper that served in the Division at the same time as me as the Division G-3 and also served in 2-8 CAV. Mrs. Carol Brooks awarded the volunteers and also provided remarks. This ceremony is also conducted monthly.
This is getting too long but there is still a lot of information to share. Iíll send out another update earlier in August to keep you apprised of activities within the Association and the 1st Cavalry Division.
Remember those who serve our country and especially the Troopers of the First Team and their families in your prayers.
Phone (254) 547-6537 Fax (254) 547-8853
Web Page: http://www.1cda.org/